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As a D.Phil student in Education at Oxford, I consistently find myself and my friends in a situation where we wish that we could have some funds to support our research or entrepreneurial projects.
Although Oxford is commonly associated with abundant funding, the reality is that Oxford students do carry a lot of financial burden. According to the University of Oxford (2015), there are 900 fully funded scholarships are available for new graduate students in 2015-16. However, the number of enrolled graduate students per year is close to 5000 (Based on University of Oxford (2013), the total number of enrolled graduate students in the 2012-13 was 4,623). Only around 25% of undergraduates receive a bursary (University of Oxford, 2014). I am researching the impact of quality assurance policies in Chinese higher education, so I had to go to China to interview academics. My friend is researching volcano activities, so she had to travel to Columbia to gather data. We could afford to collect data because we were lucky to have the financial support. However, there are many others doing fascinating research but do not have funds to carry out their research.
Oxford is also a place full of initiatives to help both local and international communities. Oxford Food Justice is tackling food waste in Oxford; School Plus is helping local students and Oxford Development Abroad is running projects in Nepal, Uganda and Bolivia. Personally, I am working on a teacher training programme for teachers in rural areas in China. All these projects need money to run and thereby to make impact.
In order to help students to generate essential financial resources for their projects, we would like to set up OxFund -- the student society for students at Oxford. By sharing crowdfunding knowledge and skills, OxFund hope to empower students to use crowdfunding as an alternative source to achieve their ambitions.
The money is needed for organising talks and events to share crowdfunding knowledge and skills in Trinity Term.
The minimum is £200 for reimbursement to speakers' travel and the full target is £328 including both reimbursement and refreshments.
There are eight weeks in Trinity, so we intend to organise eight event (one per week).
We will hire the venue for free but we need to provide reimbursement to our speakers who travel to Oxford and refreshments for attendees to stay and talk to each other. As the speakers are likely to come from London, the travel costs are made based on return journey to Oxford by rail, which costs £25. However, firstly we will try to find the suitable speakers locally. If we cannot, we will expand to London and other cities. The money saved from inviting local speakers will be used for speakers who travel from longer distance or adding refreshments.
Reimbursement to speakers' travel (£200 in total):
Refreshments (£128 in total):
OxFund Website: http://fundresearchprojec.wix.com/oxfund
OxFund Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OxFund/